Luis Trabb-Pardo's Letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Ms. Fisher and Board Members:

      We are facing an extremely delicate situation involving the possible termination of a highly respected and beloved teacher like Bear Capron. It is hard to understand how the matter could have been handled worse.

      I don't think there is any need to expand on how Bear Capron stands within the Castilleja community. It suffices to look at the FaceBook public discussion group (WE WANT UNCLE BEAR BACK!) which as of this writing is approaching 400 members (students, alumnae, faculty members and parents). Also, those of us that have daughters (Paz ('04) and Sol ('07) Hilfinger-Pardo in my case) that have been Mr. Capron's students have received personal testimonies about his stellar qualities as a teacher, counselor and friend.

      After the "disappearance" of Bear Capron from Castilleja I tried to get official information and could get none. A cloak of secrecy surrounded and still surrounds the matter.

      When information after such a sudden transition is gagged as it has been for the last three weeks the only possible understanding for the community is that some egregious crime has taken place. Anything short of that can and should be processed in the usual ways of an organization like our school: through evaluation, careful consideration and corrective action as needed.

      But by now it is patently clear that nothing of great consequence has taken place—unless our school upholds the most prudish standards and considers Castilleja students unable to view and analyze film content that includes female nudity within the classroom and with teacher guidance.

      So: one has to conclude that the Administration has some other reasons for their actions against Mr. Capron. It is difficult to imagine what those would be, especially having read the outpouring of support for Mr. Capron from the community. Furthermore, the effects of getting rid of Mr. Capron in this irrational way are many, profound, and out of proportion to the purported cause.

      First, firing a member of the Faculty, or any employee for that matter, without good reason and due process is immoral. Compounding this, the drastic method used so far (banishment from Campus) casts a veil on his character that is tantamount to character defamation.

      Secondly, the current students are, by all testimonials, losing an excellent teacher. They are also witness to an obscure process which is not at all compatible with the 5 C's of Castilleja.

      Thirdly, I am extremely concerned about the message that the faculty is receiving from this "process." Teachers witnessing this will have good reason to wonder who will be next to disappear.

      Lastly, as with many ill-conceived actions, the Law of Unintended Consequences applies: by now I would bet that the large majority of students as well as many other members of the community have watched CashBack, but not within a classroom nor under adult supervision.

      Either the egregious crime committed should be exposed, or Bear Capron should be immediately brought back to the classroom so the process of healing and mending rifts in the community can commence. This matter will not go away by itself.

Luis Trabb Pardo

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